Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Don't Push It

Run through the pain. Isn't that what they say?  No pain, no gain.  Wait is that right?  Feel the burn.  Okay, I know that one is totally from the eighties and proven incorrect today, right? Oh hell, I don't know. 
Are you there Google? It's me, Angela.

The pain in my calf was burning that was for sure.  Luckily, I had my trusty iPhone with me on the treadmill.  As I was hobbling through my run, I googled "should I run through extreme calf pain."  No one has ever accused me of not being able to multitask, um, duh, I'm a mom.  Google gave me a million articles that basically all said "stop running dummy and rest."

I begrudgingly gave in and limped back to the locker room.  I was a sad sight.

After a quick shower, I propped my pathetic, aching calf up on a table and waited out my remaining 30 minutes of available child care at my gym.   Friends stopped by to say hi and I told them about my injury.  

"It's bad," I told them.  "I might need crutches." Crutches were the only way I could justify skipping out on a workout.  I mean come on, a sore calf?  What a wimp.  But honestly, I had no basis for the crutches, except I knew I was in a lot of pain.

I've often pushed a little too hard.

In the past, I vowed to make certain people like me or else.  I would laugh at their jokes harder than others, I would tell funnier stories than others.   I made it my job to prove how awesome I could be. Think "you're gonna love me" all  Jennifer Hudson style in the Dream Girls song And I Am Telling You and you get the picture.

I pushed and pushed.
Usually, my pushing made those chosen people turn and run the other way.  In the audition process I would often forget to take care of me.  I'd forget to protect my heart (not to mention my pride).

Running has been a passion of mine since JT (my third child) was a baby.
After my first (and only, so far) marathon.

Checking out the 5-K course of the Hometown Hustle.

Girls on the Run 5K with my girl. 
The Great Race a Pittsburgh Family Tradition/Rite of Passage.

I love the solitude.  I love running with my kids.   I love the challenge. I love the control. I love the cheering at a race.  Seriously, I think everyone should run at least one 5K just for the cheering alone.  Where else can you get a crowd of people cheering for you?  

But just like all those ex-boyfriends and mean girls of my past, I pushed too hard with the running.  I was all  Salt n' Pepa "Can't you hear the music pumping hard like I wish you would..."  Laced up in bad shoes and not willing to back down, I ran and ran without much thought.  I forgot to protect my body.  Then my calf muscle was like "yo, hey lady, stop, just stop already."  That was three weeks ago and I ignored and ignored and ran and ran.  As if I had learned nothing in all my years of pushing too hard.

Until yesterday, when the calf gave out and I gave in--there was no more pushing.

At the physical therapist appointment later in the afternoon, I was telling jokes and trying to make her love me (old habits die hard, give me a break).  She reassured me that with the right stretches and therapy I would be fine.  No crutches.

"Don't push it," she told me as I was limping out the front door.

Maybe that's my resolution: Dear Me, Don't Push It.

I like it.  I won't push myself on other people obnoxiously, I won't push my body to extreme exhaustion and dehydration, I won't push myself at the expense of myself or others. I won't push busy schedules until we all burn out. I won't push my expectations for a perfect happy family adventure all the damn time.

New year, new me and I won't push it.  For now, I will wait a couple weeks to get my run on again.  I will try not to gain five pounds.  I will try and relax and heal.  And not push it. 



  1. Oh no!! I'm so sorry. Take it easy, although I know that's hard to do. Hope it heals quickly.

    1. Thank you!!! I am very bad at taking it easy. lol.

  2. these last few posts have been some of my favorites. <3

  3. It's SO hard to take a break. I hope you heal quickly!

  4. I really enjoyed this well written post - great job with linking your current injury to habits of the past. You don't even need to push it - you're knocking it out of the park anyway :)